November 2008

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Report sightings




Sunday 30th:


There was no sign of the Surf Scoter offshore but an immature Velvet Scoter was a new arrival, also offshore 23 Common Scoter, two Red-throated Diver, two Razorbill and a Pintail.  The only Slavonian Grebe was again in the estuary, none have yet appeared offshore, along with 191 Brent Geese, 74 Knot, 19 Sanderling, eight Black-tailed Godwit, five Greenshank, three Shoveler and a pair of Pintail. Elsewhere four Redwing and three Fieldfare flew over, two littoralis Rock Pipit were in the Bight, a probable tristis Chiffchaff was in the Cuckoo's Nest, a Raven flew north and a Kingfisher and a female Shoveler were on the Main Pond.


Shoveler 29/11/08 © John Fortey



Saturday 29th:


A Spotted Redshank in Shutterton Creek was the first since January, also there 15 Black-tailed Godwit, five Greenshank, a pair of Pintail and a drake Tufted Duck. Other counts from the estuary included c600 Wigeon, 140 Teal, 137 Bar-tailed Godwit and 60 Shelduck. The cold weather overnight dropped in a few thrushes with 30 Blackbird, 15 Song Thrush, three Mistle Thrush and a Redwing, with 20 Chaffinch overhead, also on site seven Stonechat, two Chiffchaff and a Wigeon and two female Shoveler on the Main Pond.  Offshore the Surf Scoter was off the Windmill, with three Great-crested Grebe and single Red-throated Diver and Common Scoter. Two flocks of Brent Goose flew in off the sea during the morning, one group of 12 Dark-bellied and one of eight Pale-bellied.


Goldcrest 29/11/08 ©  John Fortey



Friday 28th:


The Surf Scoter was offshore with two Red-throated Diver and a Common Scoter.  In the estuary a Whimbrel and at least two Black-tailed Godwit and a Mediterranean Gull were in Shutterton Creek. Elsewhere a Dartford Warbler was behind the Visitor Centre,  Mistle Thrush flew over, a Sparrowhawk was in the entrance bushes and a possible tristis Chiffchaff was seen briefly near the car park.



Thursday 27th:


The only seaduck offshore was the lonesome female Surf Scoter off groyne three, despite much searching all else the sea had to offer were two Red-throated Diver and two Great-crested Grebe.   Elsewhere 30 Shelduck were feeding on the mudflats at low tide, a Peregrine made a half hearted attempt to catch a Wood Pigeon, three Bullfinch and two Chiffchaff were in Dead Dolphin Wood and the highlight of the day three female Shoveler were on the Main Pond.  



Wednesday 26th:


The female Surf Scoter off the seawall continues to be the only bird reported.



Tuesday 25th:


The female Surf Scoter remains offshore but no other news was received.



Monday 24th:


The female Surf Scoter and a Great Northern Diver were off the seawall but no other news was received.



Sunday 23rd:


The female Surf Scoter remains off the seawall with three Red-throated Diver. Also offshore several groups of Teal and Wigeon in off along with a few waders including two Bar-tailed Godwit, a Curlew and two Golden Plover. Elsewhere single Pale-bellied Brent, Lapwing and Mediterranean Gull were in the estuary.


Lapwing 21/11/08 © Lee Collins



Saturday 22nd:


The female Surf Scoter remains off the seawall with two Great Northern and four Red-throated Diver and eight Great-crested Grebe also offshore. Wildfowl were on the move with c25 Brent Geese, 12 Teal and 11 Shelduck in off the sea and a flock of nine Shoveler offshore. In the estuary the Slavonian Grebe was still present along with 280 Brent Geese, 51 Ringed Plover, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, three Greenshank and a Whimbrel. Elsewhere a Short-eared Owl was mobbed by a Peregrine over the Main Pond late afternoon, three Water Rail, three Little Grebe and a Kingfisher were on the Main Pond and a Great-spotted Woodpecker, three Chiffchaff and two Water Rail were by the First Pond.



Friday 21st:


The Surf Scoter was still off the seawall with 40 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and four Great-crested Grebe also offshore. Elsewhere the Slavonian Grebe was in Shutterton Creek.



Thursday 20th:


Aside from the Surf Scoter off the seawall with four Common Scoter, it was more of the same with eight Great-crested Grebe and a Razorbill offshore and  51 Ringed Plover, four Black-tailed Godwit and two Greenshank from the hide.

A telescope eyepiece was found in the hide today - if it is yours please contact the Visitor Centre on 01626 863980.



Wednesday 19th:


The female Surf Scoter put in a reappearance off the seawall having flown in from further south, also offshore 50+ Common Scoter, two Red-throated Diver and 10 Great-crested Grebe. Elsewhere the resident Slavonian Grebe was in Shutterton Creek, a Cirl Bunting was singing by the Windmill, 35 Redwing flew north and three Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest and 20 Long-tailed Tit were mobbing a Sparrowhawk by the First Pond.



Tuesday 18th:


Single Red-throated and Great Northern Diver were off Langstone Rock with 35 Common Scoter flying south and another 60+ distantly on the sea off Straight Point. Elsewhere the Whimbrel was in Shutterton Creek.



Monday 17th:


Morning drizzle brought down some thrushes with two Redwing and two Fieldfare along the Back Path first thing. Offshore there was no sign of the Surf Scoter but 10 Great-crested Grebe and two female Common Scoter were present. Elsewhere a drake Shoveler was on the Main Pond, two Reed Bunting were on the Dune Ridge and the Slavonian Grebe was in the estuary.



Sunday 16th:


The female Surf Scoter remained off Langstone Rock with just a single common Scoter also offshore. In the estuary there were two Pale-bellied Brent Geese with counts of 1400 Dunlin, 260 Redshank, 73 Bar-tailed Godwit, 49 Ringed Plover, 46 Grey Plover, seven Red-breasted Merganser, five Sanderling and three Turnstone. Elsewhere the Lesser Redpoll was again in the Entrance Bushes along with a Coal Tit and two Chiffchaff.



Saturday 15th:


The female Surf Scoter remained offshore with 10 Great-crested Grebe, two Red-throated Diver and just one Common Scoter. Elsewhere 10 Black-tailed Godwit were in the estuary, with a Water Rail at the Main Pond and five Chiffchaff, a Redpoll and a Great-spotted Woodpecker in the bushes.



Friday 14th:


Offshore three immature Scaup, the first of the year and presumably those seen earlier in Torbay were off groyne nine, with them the female Surf Scoter, fresh from a tour of south Devon. Also on the sea three Red-throated Diver and 11 Common Scoter. In the estuary the Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood with 51 Black-tailed Godwit, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 700 Wigeon, 224 Dark-bellied Brent, with only one juvenile, and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose were in Shutterton Creek. Elsewhere a pair of Cirl Bunting were feeding along the Dune Ridge early morning.



Thursday 13th:


No news was received for today.



Wednesday 12th:


A quiet day with a handful of Siskin overhead along with 200 Wood Pigeon. Elsewhere a Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a Greenshank were in the estuary, Bullfinch and Great-spotted Woodpecker were in the bushes and a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond.



Tuesday 11th:


The only news received for today was of 20 Golden Plover overhead - a good count for the reserve.



Monday 10th:


Seawatching early morning showed nothing passing in poor visibility, a half hour watch produced only 11 Shelduck and a Wigeon. On the reserve a Siskin flew over and a  four Little Grebe and a Kingfisher were on the Main Pond.



Sunday 9th:


Counts from the estuary included 900+ Dunlin, 891 Wigeon, 334 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 200 Canada Geese, 120 Redshank, 70 Teal, 52 Shelduck, eight Pale-bellied Brent, three Snipe, a Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Whimbrel and a Bar-headed Goose. Despite the overnight gales it was quiet offshore with just two Red-throated Diver and around 10 Razorbill recorded. Elsewhere a few Siskin flew through, a Reed Bunting was on Warren Point and at least four Little Grebe remain on the Main Pond with Water Rail still present.


Details on a colour ringed Pale Bellied Brent, one of the family party, have been received from the Irish Brent Goose Research Group. The bird was ringed on 18 May 2005 at Hausastadir, Álftanes, SW Iceland, a staging post during spring migration and has been regularly resighted in Iceland in the following springs. It has also been recorded passing through Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland in each of the last three autumns with the most recent sighting from there on 07/10/2008. This individual's regular wintering area has yet to be recorded.



Saturday 8th:


The first Black Redstart of the autumn was seen briefly on the sea wall, from where a late Manx Shearwater, six Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver, 20 Common Scoter and late in the day, 70 Kittiwake were offshore.  A family party of five Pale-bellied Brent Geese were in the Bight with 180 Dark-Bellied Brent, 48 Ringed Plover, 13 Sanderling, 224 Great Black-backed Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Also there a White Wagtail and at least seven Rock Pipit including several presumed littoralis race birds.  Elsewhere an adult and a second winter Mediterranean Gull, three Fieldfare passed through along with single Stock Dove, Rook, Siskin and two Redpoll and two Shoveler were in Shutterton Creek.


Fieldfare 08/11/08 © Lee Collins



Friday 7th:


Another quiet day, two Red-throated Diver were offshore with Common Scoter and the regular Slavonian Grebe was again in the estuary, a different bird to that offshore in recent days. Elsewhere on site two Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit in the estuary, 11 Rock Pipit, 10 Siskin, with a Shoveler, six Little Grebe and a Water Rail on the Main Pond.



Thursday 6th:


A change in the weather signalled a quieter day with little movement overhead other than a Collared Dove,  20 Siskin, three Bullfinch and a Redpoll. Onsite a Cirl Bunting was heard singing near the Main Pond, there were eight Song Thrush and three Chiffchaff in the bushes, at least two Water Rail in the ponds, 20 Turnstone and a Lapwing were in the estuary and offshore 15 Common Scoter, seven Great-crested and a Slavonian Grebe.



Wednesday 5th:


Cloudy skies in a light NNE wind cleared by mid-morning, but not before heavy visible migration containing quality interest was recorded.  The highlight was the reserve's first ever record of one, possibly two Common "Mealy" Redpoll which called and conveniently landed briefly in bushes at 09:30 before departing NE.  The reserve's seventh Hawfinch flew through NE with the general stream of finches in that direction.  Totals were two Sparrowhawk, 65 Meadow Pipit, single Grey Wagtail, one White Wagtail (plus Pied), two Fieldfare, the first record of the year, four Redwing, 12 Song Thrush, 1150 Chaffinch, 219 Siskin, 105 Greenfinch, 405 Goldfinch, 13 Brambling, 55 Linnet, seven Lesser Redpoll, a Raven, 14 Rook and four Reed Bunting. The bushes were quiet with just two Blackcap and two Chiffchaff noted, six Little Grebe and a Kingfisher were on the Main Pond.  A female Pheasant on the seawall was looking out of place.  The sea was uneventful with a Great Northern Diver, 50 Common Scoter and what is likely to be the first returning Slavonian Grebe.



Tuesday 4th:


The good start to the month continued with a record flock of 19 White-fronted Geese flying over the reserve, the first of the year, other wildfowl on the move included two Greylag Geese, six Pintail and single Shoveler and Tufted Duck. Through the morning the vis mig also produced a second site record with 2201 Chaffinch NE along the spit, this almost doubles the previous best recorded in March 2008. Other counts included 161 Siskin, 122 Greenfinch, 116 Goldfinch, 85 Wood Pigeon, 74 Meadow Pipit, c.20 Linnet, 14 Brambling, 13 Skylark, 12 Pied Wagtail, 10 Lapwing, seven Starling, five Reed Bunting, four Redpoll, four Rook, three Jackdaw, two Song Thrush, two Bullfinch, two Swallow, a Grey Wagtail, a Mistle Thrush and a Short-eared Owl. All except the corvids, pigeons & larks were, as expected here, heading NE.



Monday 3rd:


Visible Migration again provided the highlights, although they did not pass over until late morning. The sixth Hawfinch for the reserve was swiftly followed by at least nine Crossbill, including two males. Other birds overhead included 154 Siskin, 93 Chaffinch, 82 Goldfinch,  60+ Meadow Pipit, three Pintail, two Brambling, two Reed Bunting and a Peregrine. Elsewhere on site a Dartford Warbler was in Greenland Lake,  a Snipe was on Warren Point, four Lapwing were over saltmarsh, two Goldeneye were offshore and a Water Rail, a Kingfisher & two Little Grebe were on the Main Pond.



Sunday 2nd:


Wildfowl were much in evidence with several parties of Wigeon and Brent Geese arriving off the sea today, with these were eight Shoveler, seven Pintail, six Goldeneye, four Tufted Duck and a Goosander. Many of these settled offshore with up to 50 Common Scoter. Also offshore seven Great-crested Grebe, a Mediterranean Gull, seven Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver. Other visible migration was brought to a virtual stop by the strong north-easterly wind over the channel, but the totals did include a single Hawfinch, the fifth site record, along with 60 Siskin, 41 Chaffinch, 30 Meadow Pipit, 25 Greenfinch, 21 Goldfinch, 14 Linnet, four Mistle Thrush, two Golden Plover and single Lapwing, Skylark, Bullfinch, Redpoll and Brambling. In the estuary Dunlin numbers had built up to over 700 with 94 Brent Geese, 39 Ringed Plover and 14 Sanderling. Elsewhere three Chiffchaff and a Redwing were in the Entrance Bushes and a late Wheatear was in Greenland Lake.



Saturday 1st:


Visible migration through the morning provided much of the interest with the reserve's second record of Common Rosefinch heading along the spit with a flock of Greenfinch at 9.10am. Counts made of birds heading NE into the wind were 290 Chaffinch, 246 Siskin, 140 Greenfinch, 130 Goldfinch, 55 Meadow Pipit, 35 Linnet, 20 Pied Wagtail, 18 Skylark, 15 Redpoll, 11 Brambling, nine Redwing, eight Song Thrush, three Bullfinch, three Raven, two Rook, two Jackdaw and a Reed Bunting, with two late House Martin. Also overhead and mostly heading NW were 70 Wood Pigeon and 66 Jackdaw. During the afternoon the first Short-eared Owl of the year came in off the sea, followed an hour later by a second, the first Snow Bunting of the year also flew over the Dune Ridge early afternoon. In addition to passerines, waders and wildfowl were also on the move with individuals of Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe in off the sea along with a Goosander, four Pintail and a Goldeneye. The Slavonian and a Great-crested Grebe were in the estuary with 400 Dunlin, 14 Little Egret, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, six Greenshank, a Shoveler and a Whimbrel. Offshore there were just three Great-crested Grebe with single Shoveler and Pintail in with flock of Wigeon and Teal. Elsewhere 40 Linnet were around the Bight, the Kingfisher remains on the Main Pond, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was in Dead Dolphin Wood and a Dartford Warbler was in Greenland Lake.




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